Monday, April 16, 2012

Back on Track

We got  a call from the hospital way quicker than we were expecting to. We both recognized the number and were terrified of what they had to say... It was the rhythm specialist, she was calling with some shocking news!(sorry, I have to keep my sense of humor) They were able to use the pacing wires to pace him out of it. What a relief! They didn't have to actually shock him with any high voltage. They just put him to sleep and put the wires down his throat and just behind is heart. They then used a computer track his current speed and used the pacing wires to make it pump faster and faster until the heart finally reset itself. He is on some medicine to help prevent him from flipping back into a dangerous rhythm and will need to stay in the CICU for at least another day. After an experience like that, we are not in a hurry to get out of here. He looked perfect this morning, he was sleeping peacefully and was nice and  pink. If it weren't for the monitors and alarms we never would have known there was anything wrong.
When we came back into the CICU to see him, he had been sedated and was no longer breathing on his own. So he had to have a breathing tube in again. He was also starting to get a little cold so they wrapped him up with a little blanket around his head. he looked so cute. He came out of sedation and is able to eat and breathe on his own again. The rhythm specialist said if he is going to flip back into it, he most likely will do it in the first 24 hours, but every kid is different so she doesn't know. She recommended we get a stethoscope at home and listen to him regularly throughout the day. Once we get used to his normal heart beat we will be able to tell when it is abnormal.
We are both exhausted and are very happy to have our little guy back on track. This pushes us back another couple days on being released, but we are not in a hurry to get out of here. We are totally willing to have him live here and we will just come visit him every day.

Rhythm Specialist

We just spoke to the Rhythm specialist. She wants to get him out of this rhythm by this afternoon. She said the medicine they gave him earlier this morning helps prevent this arrhythmia but doesn't do the best job at getting them out of it. The doctor this morning told us he would be on the meds a couple days and then as a last resort shock him... Then later this morning this big cart of machinery comes rolling up. It just doesn't seem fair to have all this crap hooked up to this little guy. He is still so tiny, I can't even imagine how strong he is, he has gone through so much so far. I can't stand thinking about this afternoon.
 They are going to sedate him and put some pacing wires through his nose and set them behind his heart. They are going to try to pace the heart and then get it back into the normal rhythm. She said this might be hard to do because the top chambers of his heart are beating 3 times faster than the bottom times. It's called an arterial flutter. She said they might have to shock him to 'reset' his heart. It does not sound very fun, but it with the way his heart is working right now there is a bunch of blood swirling in the top right chamber, this could cause clots, which could cause strokes. She said the clots usually take 24 hours to form, but they can be pretty bad news.  We are both nervous about this shocking business but it does seem to be the lesser of two evils. They will sedate him so he doesn't feel anything, so that is a little more comforting.... It's still scary though. This place is very good at drawing out the tears, we have both done our share of crying this morning, but we need to stay strong for our little man. He is putting up with so much in this first month of his life. He is going to be one tough cookie.

3 AM - Back to CICU

This weekend has been great so far, Michael was chugging along and Zoey was getting some daddy time. Last night I asked Bryt if she wanted to come home for the night and get a shower in her own shower, get herself some new clothes, etc. But she strongly felt like she should stay there with Michael. That sounded good to me, I planned on staying with Zoey then dropping her off at daycare in the morning. Then heading down to the hospital. On my way home last night, I had a feeling I should stay at my moms with Zoey, just to make things a bit easier on me in the morning. So that is what we did, Bryt stayed at the hospital and Zoey and I stayed at my moms.

Around 2:00 am I woke up and had a feeling I should call my wife. I was very groggy and didnt want to wake her up so I just sent her a text. Little did I know she had just woken up and was about to have an anxiety attack. She woke up to feed Michael just in time to see his alarms start going off. His heart rate had jumped from it's normal 140 to over 240. Bryttney was confused and didn't know if that was acurate, we haven't ever seen him get close to this. Nurses rushed into the room and started putting ice all over his head. Michael was experiencing SVT (Supraventricular tachycardia), the electrical system in his heart was sending out too many signals and causing a 'flutter' in his heart. The top part of his heart was pumping faster than it should be and causing an irregular rhythm.  The cardiologist called for a 2nd opinion before starting treatment. Even though Michael had multiple nurses around him trying to get him out of this state, he was sleeping soundly. The extremely fast heartbeat did not seem to bother him at all.  Bryttney was starting to breakdown and called me around 3:00 am. I guess that is why I was prompted to stay at my moms house, so I could leave Zo without any issues.
I got to the hospital and they had moved Michael back down to the CICU. The nurses were drawing some blood and Bryttney was curled up in the corner of the room crying. I ran over and wrapped my arms around her, she couldn't talk or look at me or move. She was still kind of in shock from the whole thing. The doctors won't let her breast feed him because if this medication does not work, they may have to use a defibrillator on him and shock him back into normal rhythm. I think hearing that is what may have put her over the edge. I kept cuddling her and let her know everything would be ok. There were only two nurses at his bed and his heart rate is staying around 180 for the most part. After talking to the cardiologists and nurses I don't think he is in any immediate danger as of right now. He is somewhat stable and a rhythm specialist will be be by later this morning.

The medicine he is on is being given to him in 12 hour doses. The doctor said he will need to be on it for a couple days before they see if it's working or not. He seems to be doing good still, he is nice and pink and still sleeping peacefully. He didn't like the nurse poking him for blood, but she gave him some sweet stuff and it calmed him down. We are back in the ICU for a couple more days, we are both worried about him, but I think he will be ok. I am glad he was still here, if this would have happened at home we wouldn't have had any idea.  The reality of this situation continues to grow and scare us. We are both very grateful for the annoying alarms and the amazing nurses. The spirit is with us and I feel pretty calm about everything right now. I will continue to update as the day goes on.
Sometimes I feel a little awkward typing away on my computer during a time like this, but Bryttney and Michael are both asleep. The nurses are taking care of him and I know he will want to know how it all went down when he is older. I don't want to forget any of the details so I try to get them down as soon as the commotion stops. Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers, give your loved ones a big squeeze. I don't know how we would do this without family and friends holding our hands every step of the way.